The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday readopted 10 bills returned by Governor RN Ravi, reported The Hindu.
“The governor has kept the bills for a long time and on November 13, 2023, without giving any reasons returned the bills, mentioning ‘I withhold assent’,” said Chief Minister MK Stalin during a special session of the Assembly.
He said the Assembly felt that withholding the assent and returning the bills without giving any reason was not acceptable.
Of the 10 bills, two were passed during the former regime, under the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and eight after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam came to power in Tamil Nadu.
As the proceedings of the House began at 10 am on Saturday, MLAs of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Bharatiya Janata Party staged a walkout.
However, Stalin moved a resolution to take up the bills for reconsideration and alleged that the governor was keen to block the government’s initiatives, reported The Indian Express. He also alleged that non-BJP ruled states were being targeted by the Centre through governors.
In October, Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court accusing Ravi of obstructing the Legislative Assembly from carrying out its duties.
In its petition, the state government alleged that Ravi has not only kept multiple bills pending but has also not sanctioned the investigation and prosecution of several corruption cases.
“The governor by not ‘signing remission orders, day to day files, appointment orders, approving recruitment orders, granting approval to prosecute ministers, MLAs involved in corruption including transfer of investigation to CBI by Supreme Court, bills passed by Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly’ is bringing the entire administration to a grinding halt and creating an adversarial attitude,” the state government said.
Bills passed by legislatures become law only after the governor signs off on them. Article 200 of the Constitution gives governors the power to either grant their approval to a bill, reject it or in some cases, reserve it for the president’s consideration.
While rejecting the bill, the governor may suggest amendments. However, the legislature is not obligated to accept these suggestions and can pass the bill again in its original form for the governor’s approval. On this occasion, the governor must either give assent or reserve it for the president’s consideration.
On November 10, the Supreme Court observed that Governor Ravi’s alleged delay in clearing bills was a “matter of serious concern”.
The case is slated to be heard again on November 20.